October 01, 2020

Sturgeon faces backlash after saying it may have been better if Eat Out to Help Out had not happened
Nicola Sturgeon is facing a backlash from Scotland’s crisis-hit hospitality industry after she suggested a popular discount scheme credited with saving businesses and livelihoods should have never been set up. The First Minister questioned whether the Eat Out to Help Out initiative, which saw diners across the UK receive discounts for dining in at pubs and restaurants in August, had contributed to a surge in Coronavirus cases. However, representatives of businesses north of the border said the UK Government subsidy scheme, which cost taxpayers £522m, had been a huge success and accused Scottish ministers of failing to listen to their concerns. Stephen Montgomery, spokesman for the Scottish Hospitality Group, said much of the cost of the scheme had been offset by increased tax receipts through VAT and alcohol duty and that it was seen within the industry as a lifeline.
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